HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2015) — In 2015, the University of Kentucky commemorated 150 years as the Commonwealth's flagship, land-grant institution.
As part of that yearlong celebration, the institution and its leaders are finding ways to underscore the enduring commitment — and linkage — between the Commonwealth and a university that exists to serve the state.
On Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, UK's Board of Trustees is holding its regularly scheduled two-day meeting in Hazard. Two board committees met yesterday; more will meet today, the full board of Trustees meets at 1 p.m. today at Hazard Community and Technical College. The agenda can be found here: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2015/sept/welcome.html
Keith Gannon, chair of the UK Board of Trustees, said the meeting is an important "symbol of our steadfast partnership with and for communities throughout Kentucky. We exist to educate, to conduct research, to provide care and to serve. And we do that in every corner and community of this Commonwealth. We are the university for Kentucky."
Gannon said board members had been discussing among themselves for months the desire to hold a meeting away from UK's Lexington campus.
Hazard, he said, was a natural pick as the relationship and ties with the university are particularly deep in Eastern Kentucky.
While in Hazard, UK celebrated its longstanding mobile dental clinic and toured UK's Center for Excellence in Rural Health and key partner Appalachian Regional Hospital.
UK HealthCare has partnerships with health care providers throughout the region. UK's Cooperative Extension Service also chose Eastern Kentucky as the launching pad for the nation's first fine arts extension officer, and the university currently has some 125 research projects in the region, focused on addressing health issues and other challenges.
"Our campus is the Commonwealth," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "Through our building transformation, we are building stronger communities on our campus for living, learning and research. But those buildings — and our efforts — are also about partnering with and for communities throughout our state. Nowhere is that partnership more evident, or stronger, than in the Appalachian region of Kentucky."
Board members also will have an opportunity to learn about the UK College of Education’s partnership efforts with the Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative — a component of the college's P-20 initiative to improve innovation in the state's school system. And on Friday, Hazard Community and Technical College President Stephen Greiner will make a presentation to the board.
The regular committees of the board meeting in Hazard are University Health Care, Investment, Academic and Student Affairs, and Finance, as well as the Audit and Compliance Subcommittee.
"This meeting is a powerful symbol of partnership — not only with Eastern Kentucky, but the entire Commonwealth that we serve," Gannon said. "But it's also a working meeting, one in which we hope to continue to chart an ambitious course toward being one of the country's thriving, residential public research campuses.
"One of the best ways we accomplish that mission is by honoring our historic roots as Kentucky's land-grant institution — dedicated to service, committed to creating a brighter path for the future. This meeting is a tangible expression of our commitment to those goals and that mission of service."